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It was this way. We had finished the construction work on the Oregon Midland; had quit, cleaned up the offices, drawn our last pay-checks, told everybody good-by, and were on our way to the train, when I had one of those queer little premonitory chills you hear so much about and knew just as well as could be that we were never going to pull through to Chicago without getting a jolt of some sort. The reason—if you'll call it a reason—was that, just before we came to the railroad station, the boss walked calmly under a ladder standing in front of a new building; and besides that, it was the thirteenth day of the month, a Friday, and raining like the very mischief.
It all sounds pretty old fashioned until you stumble across this:
Stock gambling, under whatever name it masquerades—boosting values, buying and selling margins, reorganizations, with their huge rake-offs for the underwriters—is the incubus which is crushing the life out of the nation's industries, especially in the railroad field. It makes me wish I'd never seen a railroad track."
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